Sunday, 26 August 2012


Lately the asian food has been calling me!
It's funny how we go through food phases. For me it's about every week I get cravings for different cuisines and dishes.

This week it started when we went out to a little Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant named thien phu' in Springvale south that started my cravings!

it's almost like a little Asian diner nothing fancy just tables with some assorted condiments on it packed with people and a tv in the background.

We started with the classic rice paper rolls, they were served with this gorgeous satay peanut sauce.

Then a lovely Congee which is a type of rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. additional ingredients, such as meat, fish, and flavorings, are added whilst preparing the congee, it is most often served as a meal on its own.

Despite its many variations, it is always a thick porridge or soup of rice which has usually disintegrated after prolonged cooking in hot water.

There are many different varieties that differ from country to country.
Countries like china, India, korea, Vietnam, Cambodia or even Burma all have variations of congee that makes it traditional to their country.

And then We shared a beautiful pork prawn and beef omelette just as described succulent meats in an omelette with garlic,chilli, Vietnamese mint, bean shoots and lettuce.

Fresh, Simple and Yummy!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Lebanese and Baklava

Lebanese! When we think of Lebanese food we think of tabbouleh, hummus, baba ghanoush and baklava (mmmm...baklava) but traditionally there is so much more to this amazing cuisine.

Now similar to the Italian antipasto or the Spanish tapas, the Lebanese serve Mezze .
Very rarely is a beverage in lebanon served without a Mezze platter.

It is a selection of hot or cold small dishes with different varieties of colours, tastes, textures and aromas. It is wonderful if you are like me and like a selection or you can never decide what to order.

Mezze may be as simple as some hummus and bread of some pickled vegetables with baba ghanoush. Then there is the Mezze that consists of all of the above with seafood and lamb, raw and cooked vegetables or salad. All these amazing dishes placed in front of you in one sitting, a foodies delight!

Another great thing about Lebanese food is the sweets.....
Baklava as I mentioned is this delicious sweet pastry layered with crushed nuts and sugar syrup or honey.
Then there is Sfouf, an almond semolina cake seasoned with turmeric,sugar and pine nuts.
Ma'amoul, a small shortbread biscuit filled with dates, pistachios or walnuts, and my personal favourite Meghli a rice pudding spiced with anise, caraway and cinnamon.

Now I bet your thinking where on earth can I get this stuff? Well I have done some research and there is a place right here in the not so sunny melbourne!
It's on north road towards Oakleigh named Oasis Bakery. Not only do they have everything listed above they do cooking classes, coffee equipment, baking ingredients, typical Mezze dishes and oh my gosh the sweets... The baklava is everywhere!!!
There is even a lebanese cafe to sit and enjoy a coffee and lunch.

To sum up or to shut me up this place is brilliant! Great shop, Great Food and Lebanese... Great cuisine!

Oh and thank you whoever invented the Baklava.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Vietnamese in Richmond

So today after a hectic morning Sam and I ventured to Richmond where we decided to have lunch. We found a lovely little Vietnamese cafe and went in there we were greeted by an amazing smell of Vietnamese mint and spice.

It was the kind of place that truly got my mouth salivating! We sat by the window looking out at the everyday hustle and for a moment I felt I wasn't even in Melbourne.

Now on our table we had all the usual condiments traditionally found in Asian restaurants: Chili, Soy, Vinegar, Hoisin and some other goodies and the menu was really great written in English and Vietnamese with pictures of the most popular dishes.

Now after some Ummming and Arghhhing we decided to share a Chicken Congee (which is a traditional soup made from stock and broken rice with coriander, spring onion and dried shallots) and a Vietnamese pancake with pork and prawn.

For those of you that have never had one before it comes out about the length of 2 dinner plates with a crispy outer egg and coconut pancake and filled with freshly cooked meats, bean shoots and onions.

Now incase your meal still isn't satisfying you get a bunch if Vietnamese mint, lettuce, extra bean shoots, chilli, lemon and a sweet chilli type vinegar just to ensure your pancake is extra delish!

We started with the congee which was so yummy with a lovely fragrant broth perfectly cooked rice and juicy tender chicken, and the best bit was the pancake it was so delicious that words cannot explain how good it was the crepe/omlette was so crispy and the meet had been cooked into
The batter before it is flipped then by adding the vinegar and fresh lemon and mint it was like having a party in your mouth ... Unexpected beautiful edible fun!!!

To conclude I have come home super inspired by chefs such as Luke Nguyen and I am pulling out the Vietnamese cookbooks and I'm ready to cook!!!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Apologies to my readers!

To anyone that regularly read my blog I am sorry it has been so long!
So much has happened since my last blog and I have forgotten about things that excite me! Well no more! I am back and going to write again about things that make me happy! I am no longer going to dwell on the past!